On a recent trip to the Milk Market in Limerick with Stefan, I was highly impressed with the locally grown winter vegetables. I was also pretty awe-stricken by the prices. And, not in the usual way I am stunned by Irish prices. The carrots, parsnips and turnips were all fresh out of the ground and really great value. This is a rarity in our green and pleasant land. Such a rarity, that my enthusiasm got the better of me and I completely over-bought on the carrots.
On arriving back in Dublin a day or two later, the Wife (helpfully) suggested that I needed to find some use for half a mountain of muddy carrots. “No problem dear” I replied, before quickly exiting the kitchen. Another couple of days drifted by before another (very supportive) enquiry as to progress. “Don’t worry, My Sweet, I have a plan.” Now feeling the pressure, I took to the internet.
Brilliant. It seems there are three things one can do with a carrot (in culinary terms). Cake, juice or soup. Given that carrot cake is only eaten by left-wing hippies with matted hair and a superior attitude and carrot juice is only drunk by people in the last stages diet driven dementia, I resolved to give some Carrot and Ginger Soup a go.
My ingredients list is pretty short.
- 2 kilos of fresh carrots
- 1 litre of chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 1 6cm piece of ginger (I measured it)
- 4 stalks of celery
- 1 big onion
- Salt and pepper to season
The preparation is very simple, even though it involves a lot of slicing. First, chop the onion.
Next, soften the onion in a very large saucepan. I used a casserole pot.
Next chop the celery and add it when the onion is about half-cooked.
When the onion and celery are ready, add the stock, crush, chop and add the ginger. While the onions and celery are sweating, you will be too, given the number of carrots to peel and chop.
Add the stock and crushed and chopped ginger. Then add the carrots. That calls for a pouring shot of course.
Cover, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or so. Season as best you can. Don’t over-use the salt. There is nothing worse than over-salted soup. Allow to cool and spoon into a food processor or blender.
Put the lid on and hit the loud button.
Reheat and serve with some nice brown bread. You will need a lot of nice brown bread – there is an awful lot of nice soup with a very pleasant ginger glow.
Despite my lack of enthusiasm for preparing this dish, it was well worthwhile. The carrots set me back €2. The stock I had in the freezer. The onion was 20 cent. The ginger was left over from something else I did. Total cost, including the cooking and blending, about .00001 cent per serving (or thereabouts).